September 30th, 2008 Art Feierman
So far, not a whole lot of surprises with Sanyo’s PLV-60 which started shipping a few days ago. First a brief description:
The PLV-Z60 is a 720p home theater projector, that uses 3LCD technology. It’s got an MSRP of $1295, and comes with a better than most, three year warranty.
This Sanyo projector replaces Sanyo’s very popular PLV-Z5, and is physically very similar. It is also similar in general performance, but better in several ways. It seems to be a little brighter, a very good thing since the Sanyo projectors have traditionally been below average in brightness, and therefore not suitable for larger screen sizes.
Our sample unit seems to be a late pre-production version. It exhibits uneven background, with color shifting slightly pink to the left and more toward blue-green towards the right side. The upper right corner is definitely blue, and a bit brighter than the rest of the screen.
This is not unusual in pre-production 3LCD and also in three chip LCoS projectors.
Sanyo is shipping out a 2nd projector (full production) today, so I should be able to get a good look at it, compared to the first one. I expect no problems with Z60 #2.
The PLV-Z60 is basically just an improved PLV-Z5, with slightly better contrast and black levels. Out of the box color in best mode – Pure Cinema is pretty good. The other modes, however, really need at least a basic calibration, as they all have color temperatures from the mid-7500K to over 9000K, definitely too “cool” (blue) relative to the ideal 6500K.
Placement flexibility is the same as the Z5, with a 2:1 zoom, and lots of lens shift (vertical and horizontal).
The PLV-Z60 claims to be 100 lumens brighter, I believe, than the Z5. This may well be the case, but that won’t change the fact that the Z60 is not a bright projector.
I’ve always liked the Sanyo Z projectors, but brightness is not their strong suit – whether best mode or brightest mode. Once again, like other Sanyo projectors, it’s going to be happiest (as will you) with smaller to mid-sized screens. With typical non-high gain screens, you’ll probably want to keep screen size to 100″ or less. If you’ve got dark walls, and great lighting control, and a screen with some gain, you might push up to 106″ or maybe 110″ diagonal, but, in most cases, for best mode, 110″ would really be pushing it. Of course Sanyo offers three Cinema modes – the best – Pure Cinema, is the least bright. Users can sacrifice a little performance in black levels and use calibrated (needed) versions of Creative Cinema or Brilliant Cinema. If you are happy with those, then 110″ diagonal becomes very doable.
That’s about it. I should have posted this 48 hours ago, but never did. Review will be finished this evening (probably late). Hang in there! -art
September 24th, 2008 Art Feierman
OK folks, I’m just back from LA, where Sanyo was showing off their PLV-Z3000, their flagship home theater projector, and of course their other two recently announced models, the PLV-Z60 and PLV-Z700.
While I only really trust my judgement when viewing a projector in my environment with the content I choose, it’s still nice to see projectors demo’d in pitch black rooms in tradeshow booths. Sadly, Sanyo had a hotel ballroom and low lighting – more than anyone would normally have on for movie watching. As a result, I didn’t get much of an idea about the Z3000. (I have the other two Sanyo’s here, right now for review.)
So, here’s a basic summary of the PLV-Z3000. First, yes MSRP is $3295, but MAP, which pretty much sets the “high” price, looks to be $2995 or $2999.
The PLV-Z3000, like several other new 3LCD projectors, is really loaded with image enhancement features. Consider: The PLV-Z3000 supports 14 bit color processing, HDMI 1.3 with Deep Color support, and x.v. color handling (no content yet, but coming). It’s got frame interpolation for a smoother better picture when there is a lot of fast moving action on the screen, and so on.
And it claims a stellar contrast ratio, thanks to new LCD panels and a new dynamic iris. How high, you ask? 65,000:1.
The Sanyo PLV-Z3000 is scheduled to ship in early December. As Sanyo put it today. We’ll get them in, in time to get them to dealers, and the dealers will have time to get them to their customers, before Christmas.
Bottom line: The PLV-Z3000 has just about every feature found on all of the other projectors it competes directly with. Not every one, but, then, none of them have every feature found on the others.
Basically what this translates to is an interesting battle between the four major Japanese companies that dominate home theater projectors: Epson, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, and Sanyo. I’ll discuss further in my next blog! -art
September 23rd, 2008 Art Feierman
OK, I’m a few days late on this, but for those that didn’t catch the “news” elsewhere, last Thursday, Sanyo finally announced the expected PLV-Z3000, their new high end, 1080p home theater projector. The Sanyo PLV-Z3000 has an MSRP of $3295. No idea at this time if it will launch with a rebate, or if there will be a lower MAP price, so hard to say what street price will be when it first ships, but, my best guess is that it’s not likely to be much less than $3000, if that, without some sort of rebate.
And they are playing in the stratosphere of claimed contrast, quoting 65,000:1. I think Read the rest of this entry »
September 13th, 2008 Art Feierman
I’ve been blogging and writing CEDIA related stuff for the last week, but, that doesn’t mean reviewing projectors is on hold. The BenQ W20000 arrived days before CEDIA, and Mike calibrated it. I’ve logged about 10 hours of viewing on it since I got back, including some college football today. Go Penn State – best of the Big 10! (no hate email, please).
BenQ's W20000 1080p projector, is a larger DLP projector, and one of the few with lens shift.
I also watched a couple of movies (21, Dogma, and segments of a couple of the regulars I use for my analysis (Casino Royale, The 5th Element).
My first comment is that – Yup, this is definitely a BenQ projector (remember, I owned their 720p PE-8720, and the PE-8700 before that one, before I bought the JVC RS1).
I looks just like my old BenQ projectors physically (the slightest cosmetic changes), and it watches just like them, but better. After calibration it exhibited exactly what I remember from my own BenQ’s as well as the W5000 and W10000 1080p models previously reviewed.
What that boils down to is an extremely sharp image, and very good Read the rest of this entry »
September 10th, 2008 Art Feierman
OK, a little levity here. I just posted a blog on the new JVC’s and earlier, one on the tiny LED projectors. When viewing the front page of my blog, I was struck by the respective photos. Both projectors, from looking at the pictures, could be roughly the same size.
Obviously the JVC home theater projector is far larger, and far brighter, but nothing you could tell from the image. A quick guess is that almost two hundred of those small, Micro-led projectors should easily fit into a case the size of the JVC.
Most amusing (to me, at least). I will have to try to find a photo of an LED projector with something to provide scale, like a pen, or cell phone. -art
September 10th, 2008 Art Feierman
JVC has been busy on the home theater projector side. Once again, they have launched, essentially two new models, but since they have two divisions – Pro and Consumer, each “real” new home theater projector, has two versions. For the most part, the differences between the Pro and Consumer versions seems to be strictly cosmetic.
What we have here, on the lower end is the DLA-RS10 home theater projector (Pro group), and it’s twin, the DLA-HD350 coming from JVC’s Consumer group. Up the food chain, and you find the DLA-RS20, and matching DLA-HD350.
According to JVC, these projectors aren’t (at least immediately) going to replace the existing DLA-RS1 and DLA-RS2 (or their consumer counterparts. That does tend to make things a bit murky, but it definitely looks like the new projectors have some advantages.
Before I get into individual models, let’s look at what all four new JVC projectors have in common:
- A new 16 element lens with 2:1 zoom ratio (same 2:1 range as the older RS1 and RS2)
- Customized gamma control – the lack of the ability to customize gamma, was always something I’ve missed on the RS1.
- All have superb range in terms of lens shift both vertical (80%) and horizontal (34%), for easy placement. Lens shift is now motorized
- All support HDMI 1.3 with Deep Color and CEC
- Image processing – already good on the older projectors now uses the Silicon Optics Reon-VX
- All four, are supposed to be available this November (you never can tell, until they ship)
- All have a screen trigger – this can be used to control a motorized screen, or a masking system, or alternately can be used to control the motorized sled for an anamorphic lens.
- And all four support an anamorphic lens, without needing an outboard (expensive) processor
- JVC has moved the inputs and output panel to the side, as opposed to being on the back on the older projectors – more on this below.
- These models are brighter than their older equivalents – RS10 vs. RS1, RS20 vs. RS2, etc.
Let’s start with the DLA-RS10. Read the rest of this entry »
September 10th, 2008 Art Feierman
I’m way late on this blog, it’s one inspired back at Infocomm, in mid-June, and I thought for sure, I would get it done before CEDIA. No such luck so here goes.
What is an LED projector? That’s obviously the first question. LED (light emitting diodes), is not a technology that will replace, DLP, 3LCD, nor LCoS.
The Toshiba LED projector is less than 4 inches long and 2/3 inch high
Rather it is a lighting system for any and all of those projector types. So far, there are apparently several being shown, all called Pico LED projectors, but most using a DLP chip (although one with LCoS), with light provided by LED. The thing is, they are tiny!
Shown at the right is Toshiba’s entry, and it isn’t even one of the smaller ones.
Now it’s true that a couple of large type projectors have been demoed (pre-production) models using LED light instead of the traditonal lamps (Digital Projection was one company that showed one), but that’s something that’s probably coming, with a few models in a year or so. Since that is evolutionary (though it should have some advantages), I’m not going to get into that here.
Let’s talk about the newest tiniest projectors. I saw them at Infocomm 2 months ago. Optoma and 3M I physically saw and there are probably one or two other with prototypes. Read the rest of this entry »
September 8th, 2008 Art Feierman
Epson sure has been busy, with five new projectors shown at CEDIA. It’s time to talk about the least expensive of them all, the the Home Cinema 700.
The first thing is the $799 price tag. This is definitely a breakthrough in terms Read the rest of this entry »
September 8th, 2008 Art Feierman
I’ve already briefly mentioned the new PLV-Z700, Sanyo’s new low cost 1080p projector with a $1995 list price. As it turns out, it is not a replacement for the current PLV-Z2000, but these are my first comments regarding the Sanyo PLV-Z60 home theater projector.
Let’s take one more look at the Sanyo PLV-Z700:
Contrast is good, at 10,000:1 but not quite as good as the Z2000 (15,000:1). The Z2000 however, had very good black level performance, better than some other projectors with similar contrast ratings, so, despite the “low” 10,000:1, the PLV-Z700 should still be pretty respectable when it comes to black levels.
Brightness is claimed at 1200 lumens, the same as the Z2000. That said, the Z2000 has been one of the least bright projectors, best suited for 100″ diagonal or smaller screens. Expect the same.
Placement flexibility is excellent with a 2:1 zoom lens, and vertical and horizontal lens shift! Like the Z2000, a lens cover slides in front of the lens, to keep dust out, when not powered up. This Sanyo, based on published specs, should be one of the quietest projectors around, in terms of fan noise.
A three year warranty combines with the low price point to make the Sanyo PLV-Z700 a serious contender. I should note that the Sanyo PLV-Z2000 has always been a favorite among the DIY home theater crowd. the PLV-Z700, I imagine, will receive the same attention by those with more limited budgets, but don’t want to have to settle for a 720p projector.
With 1080p projectors now dominating the market, some companies are sticking with their older 720p models, and not replacing them this fall, while a few others have new 720p home theater projectors.
Sanyo, who didn’t bother to replace the popular PLV-Z5 last year, has finally done so, with the just announced PLV-Z60. Read the rest of this entry »
September 8th, 2008 Art Feierman
Greetings all: I’m normally buried in emails requesting advice. It’s getting out of hand, in that there just isn’t close to enough time to answer all, or even most of your questions. I therefore thought it would be helpful to you to explain where I am at answering questions, and how to improve your chances of getting an answer. I composed this email from the show, and decided that making a blog out of it would be helpful to my readers… Read the rest of this entry »